They almost blew it. But they didn’t.
David Desharnais did some nice work in overtime and ended a game that saw the Canadiens lead 3-0 in the first period, sit back, play soft, and let the Nashville Predators take over.
But Nashville didn’t take over quite enough, because they still lost. And now the Habs begin their week long Christmas break on a winning note instead of of a loss where they blew a three-goal lead.
Three goals in 3.07 of the first period, with P.K. firing a missile from just inside the blueline, Max Pacioretty taking a nice pass from Brendan Gallagher and converting, and Tomas Plekanec redirecting a Brian Gionta pass.
Such a great lead. Only it wasn’t.
Maybe it was the enthusiasm shown by Nashville’s Matt Hendricks after his fight with Brandon Prust. CBC’s Gary Galley seemed to think so. Or maybe it was coming anyway.
The Preds had hit a couple of posts, owned the puck for large periods of time, and the Canadiens didn’t have the wherewithal to make things treacherous.
They need to get bigger. As if you haven’t heard that before.
In the second the lead was trimmed 3-1. Then with David Desharnais in the box, it became 3-2. You could see the Preds smell it. The momentum was theirs. And in the third, with P.K. off for tripping, it was tied and it was no surprise.
A bummer, but no surprise.
There were heartstopping moments, great saves by Carey Price, disorganized play by the guys in white, a soft and confused defence corps before and after Andrei Markov was banished to the dressing room for spouting off after being hit from behind, but when all said and done…..
David Desharnais provides the heroics and now they get a week off to reflect and probably agree that they should never have blown a three-goal lead in the first place.
Canadiens were outshot 20-6 in the second period and 34-23 overall.
Daniel Briere had a couple of decent moments but one play stands out for me. In the third, he took his sweet time coming back and had a coffee and a smoke in the high slot, far from the enemy. Meanwhile, the Preds stormed the net and Briere simply wasn’t there to help. So lackadaisical. Like his heart’s not in it.
Next game – Saturday, Dec. 28, in Tampa Bay. The following night it’s over to the other side to play the Panthers in Sunrise.
Now we’ve got Christmas and the World Juniors to enjoy. And although the Canadiens are off for a week, I’m still here every day. Like a bad rash.